Show 386, August 15, 2020: Awen Winecraft with Winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood Part One

Tom Homewood and Sean Hopkins of Awen WinecraftAwen Winecraft officially started commercially in 2016 by winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood. They had been producing small lots of hand-crafted hobby wine for over a decade, starting in California focusing primarily on red wines. After many years of honing their winemaking skills producing 4 to 16 Barrels per year, Sean and Tom decided it was time to try to make a business of their passion. Sean moved to Southern Oregon in the summer of 2011 and began experimenting with the Rogue and Applegate AVA grapes, again, exclusively focused on red wines in the region, which offers an abundance of red wine grapes that they previously hadn’t used. They moved on to white wines in 2013, and worked on creating both 100% varietals as well as blends.”

“Sean moved to Southern Oregon in the summer of 2011 and began experimenting with the Rogue and Applegate AVA grapes, again, exclusively focused on red wines in the region, which offers an abundance of red wine grapes that they previously hadn’t used. They moved on to white wines in 2013, and worked on creating both 100% varietals as well as blends.”

“Additionally, Sean and Tom were given the opportunity to manage a small boutique vineyard in 2014, which allowed them to really experience home winemaking ‘grape to glass’.”

“Finally, after commuting up from the Bay Area roughly 30 times for winemaking duties, Tom packed up his family and made Southern Oregon his home in the summer of 2016 to help start Awen Winecraft.”

“Awen” is a celtic/druidic symbol describing the spark of creativity or divine inspiration or illumination.

Proprietors and Winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood gently pull the cork on Awen Winecraft for us.

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Show 386, August 15, 2020: Awen Winecraft with Winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood Part Two

Tom Homewood and Sean Hopkins of Awen WinecraftAwen Winecraft officially started commercially in 2016 by winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood. They had been producing small lots of hand-crafted hobby wine for over a decade, starting in California focusing primarily on red wines. After many years of honing their winemaking skills producing 4 to 16 Barrels per year, Sean and Tom decided it was time to try to make a business of their passion. Sean moved to Southern Oregon in the summer of 2011 and began experimenting with the Rogue and Applegate AVA grapes, again, exclusively focused on red wines in the region, which offers an abundance of red wine grapes that they previously hadn’t used. They moved on to white wines in 2013, and worked on creating both 100% varietals as well as blends.”

“Finally, after commuting up from the Bay Area roughly 30 times for winemaking duties, Tom packed up his family and made Southern Oregon his home in the summer of 2016 to help start Awen Winecraft.”

“Awen” is a celtic/druidic symbol describing the spark of creativity or divine inspiration or illumination.

“Working with Herb Quady, Brian Gruber, and Nichole Schulte at Barrel 42, we are bridging the gap from Hobbyist to professional, and are appreciative of their mentorship. We also appreciate all of the efforts of both the master growers that we work with, as well as the help and feedback we have received from other winemakers.”

Proprietors and Winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood continue the fruit-forward conversation with us about Southern Oregon’s Awen Winecraft. Sean and Tom describe their noteworthy 2018 Albarino with an Applegate Valley AVA and their 2017 Sangiovese from the Rogue Valley.

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Show 384, August 1, 2020: Anchor Valley Wine, Rogue Valley with Partner Ashley Cates

Ashley Cates of Anchor ValleyAlways up for an adventure and full of entrepreneurial spirit, Joe Moxley and Mike Herrera entered into the wine world with the hopes of blazing a new trail, of merging their two business worlds in a way that hadn’t been done before. Their first partnership focused on the rock & roll world and lifestyle, bringing a signature clothing brand to fans of music.

Now, after eleven years partnering together, they’ve broadened their horizons and brought their love of wine to the forefront. The adventure began when the two went wine tasting together in Southern Oregon where they were introduced to acclaimed winemaker, Matthew Cates. It didn’t take long for the trio to form a bond which resulted in the launch of a new limited production, boutique winery they created together named Anchor Valley, based in the Rogue Valley.

Anchor Valley selections include Pinot Rose, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Sirah.

Grapes are all sourced from local vineyards that Winemaker Matthew knows well. The inviting tasting room is in the historic town of Jacksonville, Oregon.

Partner Ashley Cates pulls the cork on Anchor Valley for us.

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Show 359, February 8, 2020: Irvine & Roberts Vineyards’ Winemaker Vince Vidrine Part One

Winemaker Vince VidrineThe welcoming Irvine & Roberts Vineyards and winery is part of the picturesque Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon. It’s located just five miles from the heart of Ashland and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The new Irvine & Roberts tasting room on the property offers stunning views of the estate vineyards and the surrounding hills.

“The Irvine & Roberts families bring a unique collection of skills and passions to create their ultra-premium, artistically crafted wines produced in a style that evokes elegance, balance, and richness in their flavors and texture.”

“The estate vineyard is an exceptional example of geology and climate that provides the perfect growing conditions for some of the world’s most complex grapes: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Nestled between the Southern Cascade and Siskiyou Mountain Ranges, our ancient soils are some of the oldest in North America and are located on steep, high-elevation hillsides with glowing morning sun and shady, breezy afternoons.”

Winemaker Vince Vidrine skillfully pulls the cork on Irvine & Roberts Vineyards for us.

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Show 357, January 25, 2020: Dancin Vineyards with Proprietor Dan Marca Part One

Dan Marca of Dancin VineyardsDANCIN Vineyards (Medford, Oregon) is a lush, Tuscan Italian-esque vineyard estate known for award-winning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay where tasting is an experience of enjoyment and relaxation, where wines are served alongside harmonious food pairings. The hospitable proprietors are the gracious husband & wife team of Dan and Cindy Marca. We last visited the picturesque hillside estate in 2015 and the facilities for guests have expanded since then.

The Marcas take only one thing more seriously than hospitality – growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes of exceptional quality and making premium wine that expresses the terroir of their special site while spotlighting the grape’s essential character.

“Our winery and tasting room are set magnificently on the forested foothills of Southern Oregon overlooking the Rogue Valley, one of the most unique terroirs in the wine making world. You’ll imagine you’ve been transported to Tuscany or Burgundy, or both!”

Dan pulls the DANCIN Vineyards cork for us with an update.

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Show 328, June 15, 2019: Irvine & Roberts Vineyards with Doug & Dionne Irvine Part One

Doug and Dionne Irvine of Irvine and Roberts VineyardsAt Irvine & Roberts Vineyards they grow Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in the distinctive Rogue Valley AVA. The Rogue Valley is the region where the first Oregon vineyard was planted in the 19th Century.

Irvine & Roberts employs site specific, small block plantings that are farmed and fermented individually. This approach underscores their commitment to search wines that best express the unique character of the vineyard.

Principals Doug & Dionne Irvine uncork the details for us.

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Show 328, June 15, 2019: Irvine & Roberts Vineyards with Doug & Dionne Irvine Part Two

Doug and Dionne Irvine of Irvine and Roberts VineyardsAt Irvine & Roberts Vineyards they grow Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in the distinctive Rogue Valley AVA. The Rogue Valley is the region where the first Oregon vineyard was planted in the 19th Century.

“Irvine & Roberts Family Vineyards is an alluring family winery in Ashland, Oregon, where we practice sustainable farming and produce ultra-premium Pinot noir and Chardonnay. Our high altitude vineyard is adorned with distinctive soils, climate, and east facing slopes that produce wines with extraordinary balance, flavor and intensity. We believe great wines come from great soil, so we strive to be conscientious stewards of the land, protecting our vineyard soils through practices that are certified sustainable by LIVE and Salmon Safe. We admit to being obsessive with our grape growing practices to ensure quality in the vineyard, keeping grape yields low and production limited to ensure the optimal health of the vine; allowing us to produce exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with elegance and balance.”

“In 1997, Doug & Dionne Irvine returned to their roots in Oregon with the desire to raise their daughters in the same place that they had such fond childhood memories. Choosing Ashland, they soon discovered that the 80- acre ranch they would call home turned out to be an incredibly unique vineyard site. The first vines were planted in 2007, and the journey continued from there when Doug’s sister and brother in law, Kelly and Duane Roberts, joined Doug and Dionne and created Irvine and Roberts Vineyards.”

Principals Doug & Dionne Irvine continue the conversation…

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Show 140, October 3, 2015: Quady North (Winery) and Herb Quady

Herb QuadyAndrew Quady of Quady Winery in Madera is well-known for premium dessert wines and Vermouth. Not as well known to Southern Californians is that Andrew’s son, Herb, has a growing, and respected, winery of his own in Southern Oregon.

Quady North is the name of Herb’s Applegate Valley wine venture. While the senior Quady is a producer renowned for sweet and aperitif wines, Quady North is known for big, bold Bordeaux and Rhone varietals.

After working as assistant winemaker at the California Central Coast Bonny Doon Vineyard, Quady came to Oregon to found his own brand, convinced that the truly-compelling wines were made from grapes grown in cooler areas. In 2005 the family selected 100 acres of south-facing hillside in the Applegate Valley and planted their first 15 acres of Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Viognier.

Today there are eight vineyards, with two in the Rogue Valley, and the list of varietals has expanded to include Grenache, Marsanne, Rousanne, and Merlot.

Quady North is committed to producing small lot, minimally-handled wines sourced primarily from the estate. The focus remains premium Viognier, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, what Herb Quady calls his “love triangle.”

Having grown up in Central California, Herb appreciates the cult status of our own, California grown, In–N-Out Burger. The first Oregon location opened in Medford a couple of weeks also and the response was thunderous. It’s remains the talk of the town. There are still lines of cars around the drive-through.

We asked Herb Quady what the perfect Quady North wine pairing would be with a Double-Double with cheese. Without hesitation he enthusiastically suggested their 2011 Syrah, Mae’s Vineyard.

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